...but a stage

and we are but players in it

I'm 29!!!!
Well, officially, I won't be until 11:21pm. Whatevs.

I wasn't exactly sure how today was going to go, in terms of what I'd want to do. It was my first weekend home all June, so I didn't make any definite plans.

My love has a gig in West Virginia, and my two closest girl friends are both out of town, so I figured since 29 isn't a big deal, I'd just celebrate at my annual park picnic next weekend.

Jordan left to go to his WV gig around 11 (after making me a breakfast sammich!) and I started feeling sad. So, I sent out a mass text inviting some favorite folks over for a dish to pass dinner at my house. Due to the short notice, only 4 were able to come, but it was PERFECT!

I love small gatherings, 2 folks new each other, 2 didn't, but we all had a fantastic time (I think)

My neighbor came and was, well, odd, but that's OK.

I'm also glad I did it, for while I had a call from my parents and G'ma, of course none from Bop. The loss of him has been harder for me round 2, and I was literally aching just to hear his voice.

But, as they say, when one door closes- another opens. My Aunt Leslie, who I only met when I was 3, is now back in my life, and she called me and we talked for over an hour. She just moved from California to Vermont, and is coming to visit me in August. I'm so grateful that even though no one will replace Bop, I am now beginning a new journey with a family member which is very exciting.

I just finished today's crossword, and am about to embark on the one thing I DID plan- Alfred Hitchcock movies and ice cream in bed!

Yes, a very, very lovely birthday indeed.

of landlords and things
So, anyone who knows me knows I love 2 things incredibly: acting and animals!

I find a great quality of life caring for my 2 cats and 2 turtles, and have found great meaning and honor to be a foster parent for the past 4 years for the SPCA.

When I decided to look for a new apartment rather than a new roommate, I searched for my ideal place: affordable, Fall Creek, and animal friendly, and I (thought) I had found it! When I had my interview with Certified Properties, they were fine with my cats, and even fine with my fostering.

However, I was totally kept in the dark that they were selling the property.

The new landlords, who are animal owners themselves, first called me asking if I could get rid of the cats because they planned to refinish the hard wood floors. I said no. Then- they asked if I could just keep them outside- again no.

Now, with a total of $450 pet security deposit, I can keep my 2 cats- but not foster.

They are concerned that my cats will get bladder infections and pee outside the box.

I kid you not.

I'm tired of being treated like a criminal because I am a responsible pet owner. My question to them is if they want the apartments to be pet free, and they knew a girl was moving in with 2 cats, why spend all the time and money putting the floors in? Especially since they ALSO wanted me to move in a month later so they could do this.

I wish someone had told them: keep the floors, let her have her cats, and then change the start date of the next tenant to do this work. No?

I guess I'm just frustrated because I found what I was looking for- and then it changed. So I see my friends who have what I thought I had- having the freedom to do all the things I want to be doing.

(no subject)
I'm always in such a rush. Today, I made a decision VERY out of character for me.

I decided to get up SUPER EARLY tomorrow, take the 6:30 am bus down to NYC, and use today- which was off from work for travel, as a me day.

So far, I've had 2 french presses of coffee, tweezed my eyebrows, played with different make up looks, and tried on some new sundresses for the summer, and completed both the NYT's and the LA crossword puzzles featured online today.

And it feels soooo goood.

I have a list of things to do, such as print out my sides for tomorrow's class with a rep from HBO, and of course my resume, plus go to Greenstar to buy healthy snacks for the trip since I think this NYC pizza, as tasty as it is, is starting to show.

But think: I have the WHOLE DAY TO DO IT! I am not rushed! Jordan's at work, and I get to be home. Usually it's reversed.

He and I talked about about living situations this summer. We both decided to stay in our respective apartments, but agree that if next year goes well, we'll look into living together. He'll look into getting allergy shots for Sebastian, and continue to work with him on cleaning up after himself.

I've been doing a major detox, not for any reason other than just wanting to flush out all the negative. I've been doing major wheat grass in the am and hot lemon water. Then a super colon cleanse! So exciting, I know!

All the flushing out I did to get rid of my UTI started feeling good, so I'm just gonna keep on doing it. And what better day than a day off, right?

Who thought I'd be grateful about pooping a lot. But I am!

Off to soak my feet!

I guess there's always more.
Still no word yet on that audition. Considering the agency is mounting 2 pilots right now, with only 4 Casting Directors, I'm hoping that's all there is. In the mean time, I'm still going to the city every saturday till mid may to meet with folks from HBO. None of these meetings lead to jobs, they just let me meet people who will HOPEFULLY want me for jobs...sometime...someday.

In terms of other parts of my life, the mother of Jordan's son is pregnant. With twins.

Now, why should this concern me? Indeed! Why should it? They're not Jordan's (thank....god.)

I did voice my concerns to him on learning this, that she's going to want to dump Seb off extra, since she does that anyway- with no other children.

Since I'm mildly involved in the part of his life that is fatherhood (it was getting too painful to bond with this child only to have so many people seem to go out of their way to remind me I'm only important as a placeholder for her) I need the other half of his week to focus on our young relationship. But he's aware, and has already started talking to her about it.

It did frustrate me, however, that J and I were out at dinner. His sister and her BF walk in, and she runs up to J stating "I hear Julia's pregnant with twins! That's so great!" Her intonation made it sound like she just heard his WIFE was pregnant- not his ex. If I acted on my bratty thoughts, I would have turned to her boyfriend and ask him if any of his exces were pregnant, too.

As usual, this puts me in my question of what can I possibly mean to his family? It's as if having a kid was on a list of things to do eventually, whoopsidaisy he accidentally did it with someone he had NO intention of being with, so he doesn't need more, and had surgery to make sure he does not have more, even with the woman he says he loves and seriously sees spending the rest of his life with.

I feel like I'm perpetually being pushed into a dark corner of his life. That he's already doing the important thing with someone else, and I'm just his current toy. I know he doesn't make me feel like that, most of the time, but it seems I can't even go outside without having to hear about this other woman.

SUUUUUUUUUUCks. That, and a horrific picture of me I found on facebook that proves I've put on some weight. That sucks, too.

I guess I should update...
Even though...does anyone read this anymore? I think all the kids are using Tumblr these days.

Oh well. I'm still having fun!

Why can I update now? Because I'm not on a bus, I'm not dog walking, or driving to dog walk, I'm not doing data entry, I'm not teaching a class in Ithaca, or taking a class in NYC.

I can BREATH TODAY!!!!!!

Things have been absolutely amazing this past month. I FINALLY used the time between my last Project 4 residency, at the beginning of my Adjunct work at Wells College, to utilize the networking agency I auditioned for, and got into, last year.

So far, so good. I haven't gotten any jobs yet; wasn't expecting too. But for the first time in the 6 years I've had my BFA, I'm finally being seen by people who count. We're talking major casting directors and agents. The first CD I worked with LOVED me. After ripping into the 4 people before me, making one grown man cry, it was my turn. All she had to say was that was awesome. She asked to see something else, which she said was awesome too. And I'm going down to work with her again. Tons of people land parts out of these classes, in TV and major Films (this woman cast The Help for goodness sakes!) that I can't dare but dream....a little.

If nothing comes of this, at least Project 4 will be a full time job next year, since we'll be working in 4 school districts, rather than 1.

My relationship- amazing. Jordan and I are at a point where we're just really comfortable with each other, and I can tell our love is growing stronger. So yay for that, too!

Now, it's time to enjoy this beautiful day before a massage I think I've earned.

Loving life right now people. Or even if it's only me who reads this in retrospect, I hope to remember that I, Helen T Clark, get good things too!

just Looking up at the Sky
This morning, while I was en route to my early 7am dog walking job, I had the opportunity to hear Garrison Keillor read one of the most profoundly beautiful poems I have ever heard in my entire life.

Now, I'm not planning on leaving this world any time soon, especially with all the positive movement in my career life and relationship, but if there's any poem that I feel truely speaks what I feel, and who I am, and that I would want read at my funeral, this was it.

The poem is called Looking up at the Sky, by Anne Porter. And it goes a little something like this:

I never will have time
I never will have time enough
To say
How beautiful it is
The way the moon
Floats in the air
As easily
And lightly as a bird
Although she is a world
Made all of stone.

I never will have time enough
To praise
The way the stars
Hang glittering in the dark
Of steepest heaven
Their dewy sparks
Their brimming drops of light
So fresh so clear
That when you look at them
It quenches thirst.

Love Actually is...all around
Ah, yes. Valentine's day, where my face-book wall is overrun with either smoochy posts boasting of one's amazing significant other, or singles bemoaning the very existence of the day.

I often think and reflect on this day. I was single for every VDay up till last year, yet I never felt lacking in love.

While in Middle and High School, the selective choirs I was in would walk around the school all day, bestowing singing telegrams on lucky (or unlucky) folks. Then I would get home, and my parents focused on the varied types of love within a family, quietly, not to make a point or anything, but we did. I would have gotten flowers from Bop and Dad to come home to, and we would share a meal and watch a movie.

So I'm thinking of the fantastic VDay's I've had, as a single girl.

~Getting a singing telegram on my parents voice mail from my friends in Chamber Chorus, when my G'ma Julie had just died and I wasn't up to going back to school

~Having a single girls boxed wine and PJ's night , after dating eachother at Changs (where they didn't ID- and us freshman got sloshed on Suffering Bastards)with Margo and Caitlin

~Getting cards and chocolate from cast mates when I was rehearsing a show

~ Showing up to dinner with my gay friend Allen to find him in a suit, with flowers, and chocolate covered cherries. He paid for the whole meal- and I dropped him off at Laramie Project rehearsal at The Rainbow Center.

~Working at the cafe when I lived in the Berkshires, then meeting my friend Andrea at the movies. We watched Nanny McFee, and had the whole theater to ourselves.

~ Making cookies with Laura, Tina, and Katrina, and eating them while watching High Fidelity

~ Getting homemade valentines from my students every year

~Getting flowers from Bop for 27 years in a row until his passing.

Were there times, during all of these, I wish I had a romantic love to celebrate the day with? Indeed! But it was all about the attitude. The times I focused on the lack of romantic love, I would end up drunk and depressed. But when I remembered that love is ubiquitous in my life, and bounding, then there weren't enough hours in just one day to celebrate where the love in my life is- because it's everywhere.

Last year I had a boyfriend. But he worked on a project while I played with his son, and his ex (the sons mom) invited herself over to give the child a valentine. I never really thought of basically babysitting my boyfriends son only to have an awkward run in with his self-imposing ex as my ideal February 14th, so in terms of the WORST valentines day ever, that one was it. And it was the only one with a boyfriend.

So yes, as that ole chestnut of a movie states: "If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.”

(no subject)
I've been having a TERRIBLE problem sleeping lately. And by lately, I mean, since November. For a while, I had that nasty cough, that ONLY seemed to start when I lay down. When it's not the cough, it's awful dreams.

I'm not sure if this would qualify as "night tremors," but I have consistently been waking up, drenched in my own sweat, from one awful dream, then slip right into the next.

It's really ruining my flow. And I want it to stop.

The end

Cosmic banana peels
My mom has a theory. When we are going going going, perhaps at the expense of our well being, the Universe throws out what she calls cosmic banana peels, to slow us down, so we can care for ourselves. Well, yesterday was full of them.

It's performance week for my show in Aurora on Friday. In an ideal world, I would be resting, getting massages, and prepping for long, late night rehearsals so I'm up to par for the show.But my pay is not enough for me to afford taking time off from my other jobs. We had our long 10/12 tech on Saturday, and yesterday was going to be a day where I was going to take it as easy as possible, to recharge for the upcoming week.

However, the woman playing Abigail Borden STILL does not know her lines. She seems to have a very old school approach to acting. She knows the motivation of each line, and will mutter things like "Ok, so now I get her out of here" so she KNOWS what's happening in the scene, but dose not know the actual lines she has to say. This means the flow of the dialogue gets stopped, and we're all busting our brains trying to figure out where she is in the script.

Because of this, I had to go back to Aurora for a 4 hour rehearsal, just of her scenes, to get each line down. I was already grumpy about this. I'm always one to take one for the team, getting to the theater early to run things, working through breaks, etc, but I've done my part, and what I needed was the time off.

I get to my car. I have a parking ticket. Odd/Even parking has started in my neighborhood and I missed the memo. Then a pastor with poor parallel parking skills hits my car. I'm fine, my car is fine, but it was still one more thing I didn't need.

My director sees the look on my face, and we chat about it. She said that I could leave at any time, that my character does not need any more rehearsals and is quite lovely. I did stay for an hour, to make the 40 hour drive worth it.

It's all about priorities. I have mine for what I need to do, but sometimes people in authority have contrasting ones for me. I took Wed off from nannying so I can get work done at the SPCA. It also just so happens that after 2 weeks of lull, we have a donor mailing out, which means lots of work for me. Bad coinscidence that this happened the week of the show, but I'm trying to keep my ducks in a row so I don't explode.

I guess it's just a one foot infront of the other kind of week.

Progress, but not perfection.
Since the major blow out about the "M" word last September, my relationship has been quite lovely.

I've been much better about living in the moment. However, after spending so much time finally learning the meaning of "to thine own self be true," I have reached a point of realizing that "mine own self" is pretty neat, and something to keep major sight of.

This means a couple of complications in the future: for one, love me and love my cats. Just as I am to accept, and I do, that Jordan comes with a son and I can't pretend otherwise, I come with cats. The fact that son and cats won't be able to cohabitate (well, they could with simple modern allergy medications, but that has been vetoed for the time) then J and I will simply not live together for a few years.

This actually doesn't bother me. My aunt and uncle live in 2 separate countries due to their work, and see eachother when they can. However, J has been REALLY down...almost to depressed mode, about how much he has to work now that he doesn't have a roommate. I do feel for him, but I have a lot of single parents as friends, and they ALL work jobs they hate because it's what they signed up for, whether they were cognizant of it or not.

I've been wondering when a good time to tell J about my decision to keep my cats, but since he keeps complaining about all the places he and S can't go (either of his parents house, his sisters house, my aunt and uncles house, a few friends houses) I felt like I had to bring it up. J takes the stance that it's annoying that we all have cats...and I'm biting my tongue to ask him what the common denomitator is: his son. His allergies could easily be remedied, but since he doesn't want to, then oh well.

My main fear is that, in my romantic history, when i do something that is good for ME, which a loving relationship is supposed to respect and encourage, the guy I'm with doesn't like it. Do I like the idea of not living with him? No. But I've always looked forward to living with a man in a one bedroom and saving a lot of money. That won't ever happen for us.

There's a lot in this relationship that isn't easy, nor does it look like how my ideal relationship would, but because I love him, I try to make it worth it. I guess I'm getting better at believing that someone might do the same for me.


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